"Be steadfast in seeking knowledge."

- Lili'uokalani
Tomorrow Ancestor is a platform set out to uncover the stories of what motivates young indigenous scientists. Often minorities within their respected fields, these unique individuals are pursuing enlightenment through higher education while honoring their native perspective. Join Tomorrow Ancestor’s global voyage to raise consciousness and connect cultures.
Who We Are

raising consciousness, connecting cultures.

James Akau
B.S. Biological Sciences 2009 Chapman University

Pursuing a M.S. Tropcial Conservation Biology and Environmental Science University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Haunani Kane ACADEMICS:
B.S. in Global Environmental Science University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Pursuing a M.S. in Geology and Geophysics at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Cliff Kapono ACADEMICS:
B.S. in Plant and Environmental Biotechnology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

M.S. Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of California, San Diego
Malia Heimuli ACADEMICS:
Internship with Kupu Americorps at Dry Forest sites in Kona and South Kohala.

Pursuing B.S. degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.
James Akau

Home: Pāhala, Hawai‘i

Hailing from perhaps the most rural and isolated community in all of Hawai‘i, James looks to combine the knowledge found in an academic institution with the diligence of being a steward of the land. James hopes to use this knowledge to find practical solutions to many contemporary struggles. His dedication to his craft alongside his commitment to his environment puts this next generation of native on the verge of discovering a future embodied in sustainability.
Haunani Kane

Home: Kailua, Oʻahu

Born and raised close to the epicenter of Hawai‘i's largest outlet to the rest of the world, Haunani has seen the effects of anthropogenic change on island districts. Hoping to prevent her small community from suffering a similar fate, she has chosen a study that helps to predict the impacts of climate change upon coastal ecosystems in aims of protecting the only place she has ever known as home.
Cliff Kapono

Home: Hilo, Hawai‘i

From a young age, Clifford was raised to value his family and his education. However, tied with better education often was the decision to leave his home and his family. Clifford is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemical Biology at the University of California, San Diego. His research focuses on recognizing new ways to identify diseased corals in Hawai‘i. Although Cliff has spent most of his life away, his ultimate goal is to return to his greatest classroom, his home on Hawai‘i Island.
Malia Heimuli

Home: Kāne'ohe, Oʻahu

Challenged by the disconnection between the classroom and working in the environment, Malia does not measure her future success by a degree or a job. Rather she is driven by her passion for native plants and her love for the ‘āina (land). Malia learns by observing, feeling, and listening to her environment. By knowing the name and the use of a plant in an area, she is automatically connected to a place.


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